Silva backs Broja to make Fulham impact in Jimenez's absence

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Silva backs Broja to make Fulham impact in Jimenez's absence

Marco Silva is confident he can get the best out of Armando Broja after revealing that Raul Jimenez could be sidelined for six to seven weeks with a hamstring injury.

Fulham signed Broja on loan from Chelsea on transfer deadline day, after Jimenez sustained a hamstring injury in Fulham’s 0-0 draw with Everton two days prior.

Broja made his debut from the bench away at Burnley last weekend, just a day after his signing was confirmed, and Silva believes the 22-year-old will have an impact at his new club in the absence of Jimenez.

“Broja can add very, very good things,” Silva said on Friday. “Firstly because he’s a dynamic and mobile striker. Raul (Jimenez) is more or less the same profile but we will be without him probably for the next six to seven weeks. Broja is completely different to Rodrigo Muniz or Carlos Vinicius (who has signed for Galatasaray on loan). He has pace, the ability to attack in behind, and his mobility he can cause problems. He’s adapting to our model.”

Silva added that his new striker is now up to speed ahead of the visit of Bournemouth on Saturday, and that he has benefitted from a week of working with his new team-mates.

“This week was really important for him,” said Silva. “He arrived the day before the Burnley game and we did not have enough time to work with him. We prepared in a different way. He had a session before the game, and we took time with videos so he could understand what we demand and expect from him. This week was a good one, it’s different when you can understand things on the pitch, in training sessions. We’ve started to see very good things from him. If we need him tomorrow he will be ready to play.”

Broja had made 13 league appearances for Chelsea this season before making the switch to Craven Cottage. Of those, he made six starts and scored one goal — against Fulham in October.

Asked about whether Broja can rediscover the form he showed while on loan at Southampton in 2021-22, where he caught the eye and scored nine goals in all competitions during a season-long loan, Silva said: “We are confident we can get the best from him. I remember the way he played at Southampton, and even this season, while not scoring many goals, to be in the starting XI means something. We are here helping him, supporting him, to help us win football matches.”

As well as Jimenez, Kenny Tete will miss the visit of Bournemouth due to an Achilles injury, which Silva described as “not serious”. Fulham will also be without Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey, who remain on international duty with Africa Cup of Nation finalists Nigeria. Silva added that “everyone else” would be available, meaning Issa Diop, Adama Traore and Harry Wilson are in contention to return.

Bournemouth have not won in the league since these two sides last met on December 26, and Silva is hoping for a completely different performance from that day, which saw the Andoni Iraola’s side secure a 3-0 win.

“It was one of the worst performances of the season,” he said. “It was not at the standard that it should be. The game after against Arsenal was a great reaction from a really bad performance. We have to do everything completely different. It was a moment to learn.”

(Naomi Baker/Getty Images)